Tuesday, October 31, 2023

October Update

 Greetings! I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the cooler autumn weather. Thank you for praying for me and for the work God is doing among the indigenous peoples of Colombia and throughout the world. I am currently in the States through February for a brief furlough. And although I am in the States, please continue to pray for the work in Bogota among the displaced indigenous. Moreover, pray that the word of Christ would speed ahead and be glorified among every tribe, nation, people, and tongue. Pray that the gospel would advance unhindered and that its power would demolish any and all barriers Satan tries to amass against it. Pray that many would come to find true and lasting hope in Jesus our Lord.

My work in Colombia focuses on the displaced indigenous. Parts of Colombia have to deal with violence from the cartels. This has lead many indigenous people to move into the cities. Thousands displaced indigenous are living in shelters and parks in the city of Bogota. My team is working to reach them with the gospel. We have been able to enter the shelters and parks where they live for English classes and relief projects. While there, we proclaim the good news of Jesus explaining who he is and what He has done for us. Please pray for my team as they continue to work in Bogota while I’m here in the US. 

One groups of indigenous believers, the Wounaan, have asked for our assistance regarding a a relief project in the western part of Colombia. Please pray for this effort, that we can get them medicine and supplies that they need and that relationships between us and the Wounaan there could be established and strengthened. 

Continue to pray for Mike as he struggles provide for himself and his family. I have been able to communicate some with him from the States through WhatsApp. Pray that his heart would be open to the gospel. 

Continue to pray for the work in Las Cruces. Pray for the church that is being planted there. Pray for the ministry to the families and children of the neighborhood. 

While in the States, I have been able to spend time with me family. I made a Colombian meal for my brothers family which they seemed to enjoy. I have done some traveling. I went to east Tennessee for an associational missions conference where I had a table set up. I had the opportunity to speak at a church while there. 

I had the opportunity to participate in an R.A. camp in middle Tennessee. It was the same camp I went to as a kid in the late 80s. I had a table set up there too for the missions fair. Pray for me as I have other opportunities like this to advocate for missions and the work in Colombia among the displaced indigenous. 

The evening before His crucifixion in the upper room, Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, washed His disciples’ feet, and taught them many important things to prepare them for the events that were soon to take place. It is in this context that the final I AM statement comes. Jesus wants His disciples to understand that He was the True Vine and they were the branches. This vine  metaphor comes from the OT(Psa 80, Isa 5, Jer 2, Ezek 15, Hos 10, etc.) where Israel is referred to as a vine. Jesus is the True Vine. He is the true Son who is obedient where Israel failed and where Adam failed in the garden before them. Israel was God’s vine that yielded the wild grapes of unrighteousness and idolatry; Jesus is the True Vine that yielded righteousness, faithfulness, and love. The OT prophets promised hope that one day an Obedient Son would come and provide salvation. 

Jesus fulfilled those promises. He was perfectly obedient to the law of God. Then, He died to pay the full penalty for our disobedience. Jesus saves us from all our unrighteousness and clothes us in His perfect righteousness. This salvation comes to all who believe and rest in Jesus as their only hope for salvation. That is what it means to abide in Christ. It means to look outside of ourselves away from any of our own righteousness and look to Christ and Christ alone through faith alone. As we rest in Christ, the Spirit will produce fruit in us. This is the message of hope we take to the world lost in their own sins: Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Look to the True Vine and rest in Him.

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